How do you talk about TV and entertainment at a time like this? By zeroing in on the way systemic racism dictates even the seemingly harmless procedurals you’ve spent your life watching / being indoctrinated by, which Kathryn VanArendonk does for Vulture in Cops Are Always the Main Characters:
There are many, many reasons why a cop’s point of view has become the default way to frame national unrest, including institutional and systemic racism, the capitalist urge to prioritize property over human life, and a political system that benefits those already in power. But TV plays a role, too. The overwhelming mountain of cop shows amounts to a decades-long cultural education in who deserves attention, and whose perspective counts most. In stories of American crime, TV teaches us that cops are the characters we should care about.
In addition to VanArendonk’s highlighting Orange Is The New Black and The Wire as exceptions to the usual “cops are the heroes” narrative, I’d also bump HBO’s Watchmen on that list as a superbly brilliant show (based on the graphic novel) whose entire premise around an imagined alternate reality following the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. Watch just episode 1 and episode 6 if you absolutely do not have the time, but it’s a wholly incredible saga, with superhero lore and some weird alien sci-fi-y elements, but the heart of the show is dedicated to deconstructing the rules around who gets to police whom.
^Plus everyone wears masks, so it’s even more hugely relevant!
Pssst, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a copy of Matt Ortile’s The Groom Will Keep His Name — he’ll be in conversation with SNL’s Bowen Yang *tonight* with The Strand, and you can get tix here.
Here’s how to enter:
Make any size donation to The Bail Project, The National Bail Fund Network, or the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and email me (deliarcai@gmail) your receipt.
(If you already entered by tweeting out Deez Links, that’s okay, I have your name down as an entry — just felt like changing the giveaway made sense in light of current events!)
Make sure you’re following Matt @Ortile on Twitter
I’ll pick 5 winners at random on Friday morning and tweet ‘em out!
**Please reach out to each person directly if you can help + if you want to be added, DM me on Twitter!
—Social Media / Aud Dev —
Karen Hobowsky: Hi! I was part of Vice's most recent layoffs. There I ran Munchies socials and was embedded within the Culture Desk for packaging, ideation, and promotion. Prior to that, I've worked on mix of distribution efforts from newsletters, to publishing strategy, to homepage editing. I'd like to try to stay in a social/audience development, content strategy, or copy writing role, preferably in food, entertainment/pop culture, and lifestyle spaces. email@example.com
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